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Irish To Vote On Stricter Budgetary Rules

The people of Ireland vote Thursday on a European treaty that imposes strict budgetary rules on eurozone nations. It's triggered a heated debate in Ireland about whether austerity measures are working. The Irish government says rejecting the treaty would cut Ireland off from future EU bailout funds, and isolate the nation.
NPR

Spain's Retail Sales Drop Amid Belt Tightening

In Spain, retail sales for April plunged to a seasonally adjusted 9.8 percent from a year ago. It's the fastest decline on record. The drop in sales is being blamed on Spain's severe austerity program.
NPR

Japan Recruits Girl Band To Sell Bonds

The Japanese government has launched a campaign aimed at selling bonds to help fund reconstruction of areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. It recruited the popular girl band AKB48, known for hits like "Baby Baby Bay," to help promote the bonds.
NPR

Forget Big-Box Stores. How About A Big-Box House?

Using recycled materials is increasingly common in building construction. But some architects are taking the green movement a step further, creating entire homes and businesses from discarded shipping containers. They call it cargotecture.
NPR

From An Israeli Kibbutz, A High-Priced Caviar Prized By Top Chefs

One of the world's most treasured foods comes from an unlikely source — a sturgeon farm on a kibbutz in Northern Israel. The prized sturgeon eggs — or osetra caviar, if you must — fetches a hefty price and has a top chef following.

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